The Good Patrons of 750 Words

A Note of Inspiration from Polina Mariani

1 cup

Last Thursday I think I had a real cathartic experience for the first time in the history of my treatment. I was thinking about my difficulty to write the report. I was telling Joe about my reaction to Arnold’s offer to send me his own psychoanalytic report. I described how anxious and insecure it made me feel at first. I was also worried about Joe’s reaction to this situation and how he might disapprove it as if that would be just another distraction to look at someone else’s writing rather than be focusing on my own. I just looked at the time and it’s 10:10. Woo-hoo. Good sign that I am doing something good. This number means everything is working out for me, I am working towards higher purpose. Anyway, I got distracted a bit but now back to my session experience last Thursday. I observed how my immediate anxiety to Arnold’s offer subsided after a read his own psychoanalytic case report for the second time and realized that it actually helped me to better understand how to structure my report and how psychoanalytic writing should look like. I continued thinking how I always struggled with procrastination, as long as I remembered myself I made it so difficult for my self to progress with my learning because I would not study or would do it the last minute so that it would be difficult to absorb and let the material settle in my mind, instead I was distracted by stress and anxiety about my performance. Joe was listening to me and then asked me if I thought I learnt something in my classes. I didn’t respond but got silent. He asked me what made it difficult to answer that question. I observed myself being kind of stuck and unresponsive. He thought about the word that I used in the previous session – finality – something that he said communicated perhaps my awareness that the work with my supervisors and my analysis with Joe would end at some point, he thought that perhaps I was having a hard time with that because it would evoke a strong sense of loss that I was defending against because it was too painful to acknowledge the loss of my father. I was conflicted about writing the report and presenting it to my supervisors and being able move on and mature but instead I perceived myself as a little girl who could not grew up and move on and so I didn’t have to face the loss. When Joe stopped talking I started sobbing with such intensity and emotionality that at first I could not consciously understand. My body was reacting before my mind could get a sense of what was happening. I shared that with Joe and he said that it will catch up eventually. I was so astonished with my reaction and how Joe’s interpretation just hit the core of my internal conflict, this difficulty to use my mind and move on. I felt such a strong sense of relief that I haven’t experienced for a long time. It was like a heavy weight was off my shoulders and I felt a sense of lightness and clarity and ease. Things seemed not as complicated as I always felt before. After the session I thought so good and so inspired. I understood how the erratic and irregular meetings with my father were so short lived. When I saw him sober and present, I would just listen to his stories and interesting scientific facts, but I could not allow myself to think that I could use my own mind in the same way and be inspired to learn and thrive. The only thing I could allow myself is to remain that passive little girl, who listened and didn’t talk or express herself. I got stuck in his emotional experience of a little child without a mind of her own because it would mean to lose my father, it would mean that I don’t need him. I also thought about my fantasy of an exciting and handsome man watching me from a distance. This fantasy was constructed as a result of my longing for my father who was never around and who would often be absent, who would appear handsome, attractive and charismatic on the photos. He was looking at me from these pictures and that was very sad and hopeless that I could to have him appear this was in my life. I miss my father. I never allowed myself to mourn the loss of my father. I think I am able to grieve his absence in my life. I would like to relate to men in a different way. I would like to feel like a woman and not a little girl. I am capable to feel attractive, successful and interesting. I can make choices and be more active in relation to a man. I still have to feel more relaxed and uninhibited.

Testimonial Note from Polina Mariani on Wed, May 15

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